Sunday Mass is held outside a Greek Orthodox church in the northern port city of Thessaloniki In this May 24 photo.
After about two months of complete confinement, we appear to have suddenly come out of it. Just like that, from one moment to the next. During the past eight weeks Greek citizens have been bombarded with warnings from reputable epidemiologists about the lethal danger lurking outside our doors.
An entire army of talking heads have spread messages about the protective measures we should have taken, supposedly cultivating a sense of “personal responsibility.” All this was necessary and truly life-saving for us all, and the government seems to have acted wisely and was trusted by its citizens.
However, the time has finally come for the economy. After the epidemiologists – experts or self-taught – all kinds of economists followed soon after. At this point, it was once again established that, in Greece, when we say “the economy,” we mainly mean tourism and the plethora of professional activities associated with it.
In other words, to a significant degree, our survival and development depend on arrivals.
Some are still concerned, as the situation with the virus has yet to be overcome. However, those who are concerned should recall the countless billions of European subsidies to Greece since its accession to the European Economic Community (EEC) in 1980 which were wasted instead of being used to fundamentally restructure the economy. Joining the eurozone inflated Greece’s borrowing, which finally led to bankruptcy.
Of course, after the war and the woeful guerrilla war, Spyros Markezinis implemented a program that would drastically restructure the economy, and Greece, despite its serious political crises and the inherent distortions, continued to develop until 1974. Because, quite simply, the changes had been implemented in a timely manner.
Some serious and productive companies have certainly been established in recent years. But what we mainly sell are the Acropolis, sunshine, magical beaches, and a carefree holiday. So let us take advantage of them. And if the coronavirus has made this kind of wellbeing dangerous, we have no other choice but to take our chances. Therefore, good luck to us all.